A historian’s analysis of The Pink Swastika, part 2

(Editor’s note: Yesterday, historian Dr. Jon David Wyneken began a series regarding the book, The Pink Swastika by Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams. I asked Wyneken for his assessment of the book. Part one was posted yesterday and part two is posted today.)

Stein then reviews and analyzes The Pink Swastika. Now for her sections on Lively and Abrams and the elements of the Christian Right who embrace their arguments:

By the late 1980s and into the 1990s, a new Christian right cultural genre-books, videos, special reports, was specifically dedicated to identifying the gay threat and calling Christian believers to arms; dozens of conservative Christian organizations devoted themselves solely to antigay activities (Herman 1997), and anti-gay discourse came to encompass an attack on the status of homosexuals as a “minority” group deserving equal rights under the law. This marked a shift on the right from a focus on the immorality of homosexuality, to an attribution of superior power to gays. Gays were viewed as undeserving “special interest groups” which have won “special rights” by manipulating government corruption, gerrymandering elections, and appealing to a judicial system dominated by liberals, a powerful, morally corrupt school system, and a Congress that promotes the destruction of the family (Johnston 1994:7; Herman 1997) (Stein, 528-529).

During these initiative campaigns, the Christian right at times deployed rhetoric and imagery that echoed European anti-Semitism. The Oregon Citizens Alliance film, The Gay Agenda, closely resembled the 1940 Nazi propaganda film The Eternal Jew. Echoing traditional anti-Semitic propaganda which deliberately inflated the power of Jewish bankers, international Jewish conspiracies, and so forth, conservatives suggested that lesbians and gay men have higher incomes than others. A cartoon published by the Oregon Citizens Alliance showed a gay man manipulating the strings of the government and the economy. It was, one gay writer pointed out, ‘a virtual copy of a Nazi cartoon,’ one that replaced ‘the stooped, hooknosed puppeteer with a fresh-faced gym boy (Solomon 1997:7).’ At the same time, the OCA challenged the right of lesbians and gay men to align themselves with the victims of the Holocaust. In the 1994 campaign for ballot measure 13, which sought to deny civil rights to lesbians and gays, a rightwing group calling itself ‘Jews and Friends of Holocaust Victims’ purchased space in the Official Oregon Voters Pamphlet (1994:79) arguing in favor of the ballot measure:

Who’s a Nazi? Americans are watching history repeat as homosexuals promote the BIG LIE that everyone who opposes them is harmful to society. It’s nothing new. They used this tactic in Germany against the Jews…Don’t buy the BIG LIE. Opponents of minority status for homosexuals are not “Nazis” or “bigots”. And homosexuals aren’t “victims” of your common sense morality. Protect our children! (Stein, p. 529).

In the following passage, Stein correctly argues that Lively and his supporters attempt to flip the victimhood metaphor from gays to themselves. The Pink Swastika has been a key aspect of that effort.

The ‘true’ victims are the guardians of ‘common sense morality,’ the Christian right. As a leader of the Oregon Citizens Alliance suggests, “‘gay rights’ activists-not pro-family conservatives and OCA supporters-should be wearing the label of Nazi.” Homosexuality was a CENTRAL element of the fascist system, that the Nazi elite was rampant with homosexuality and pederasty, that Adolph Hitler intentionally surrounded himself with homosexuals during his entire adult life, and that the people most responsible for many Nazi atrocities were homosexual.9 This encapsulates the argument of The Pink Swastika (1995), authored by OCA activist Scott Lively, along with Kevin Abrams, who is identified as an Orthodox Jew residing in Israel. The book is a carefully constructed piece of political rhetoric, mixing serious scholarship with lies and outright distortions, truths with half-truths and falsehoods. The authors draw upon a variety of scholarly sources to make the argument that many, if not all, of the major leaders of the Nazi movement in Germany were homosexuals-including Hitler, Goebbels, Goering, Himmler, and Hess. While they do admit that homosexuals were persecuted by the Nazis, they suggest that homosexuals comprised the core of the Nazi Party. The Pink Swastika explains how homosexuals can be both Nazis and their victims. The authors contend that more masculine, “butch” homosexuals were responsible for building the Nazi party and creating the SA, or Brownshirts. Male homosexual “femmes” were persecuted by the Nazis, but largely escaped death…The Pink Swastika concludes with the claim that the contemporary gay rights movement, far from sharing a historical lineage with Holocaust ‘victims,’ actually has historical links to the Nazi perpetrators of genocide. (Stein, 530).

Stein then comes to a similar conclusion about the claims made by The Pink Swastika as I do when she writes:

Despite the claim of a direct link between Nazi ideology and homosexuality, historical evidence points to the opposite conclusion: that while the Nazis may have aestheticized homoerotism to a point, they identified homosexuality with the emasculation of men, which they saw as a threat to the traditional patriarchal, procreative family which they idealized. (Stein, 531).

Stein asserts that The Pink Swastika seeks to accomplish ends which serve political, not scholarly, purposes. As noted, the line of thinking employed in book seeks to flip the victim status from gays to conservative Christians. Furthermore, as Stein puts it, the book seeks to “pit two traditionally liberal constituencies, gays and Jews, against one another, thereby…drawing parallels between Jews and Christians” (Stein, 531).

Speaking about Christians who advance the rhetoric and argumentation of The Pink Swastika, Stein writes:

Christian conservatives have deliberately distorted Holocaust memories to deflect lesbian/gay victim claims, and to make moral claims of their own. In the process, they have degraded the memory of Holocaust victims and alleviated the burden on the perpetrators. (Stein, 535).

I generally agree with Stein’s conclusions here, and I ask all those reading this site, no matter their political beliefs, orientations, etc., to thoughtfully consider these conclusions, even though some of her criticisms of your various positions may challenge you.

I would go further, though, than Stein does in challenging the validity of Lively’s book as legitimate and responsible history. First, though Lively does use a number of secondary sources in his research (including scholarly books by Grau, Michael Burleigh, and others), he does no original research in primary archival documents; ; meaning, he has not examined the thousands of documents available on these subjects for himself. While certainly effective synthesis histories can be written from strictly secondary sources (and a number of high-quality historians have written such books), the most effective and legitimate ones are usually written by scholars who have done extensive primary archival research on those subjects in the past and have a mastery of the secondary literature as well. In my professional opinion, Lively does not fit either of these categories.

Second, responsible historians tend to cast a skeptical and cautious eye on any historical conclusions that appear reductionist, monocausal, and polemical in their conclusions. In particular, books that use historical topics to score contemporary political points are often dismissed by scholars out of hand as not dealing with the past honestly. Anachronism is not the historian’s goal or friend. While lessons can and should be drawn from history, these are not nearly as easy to arrive at as many (especially Lively, it seems) think.

Finally, in my opinion (and one that I would hazard a guess many other Christian and secular historians share), in any contemporary debates on ANY political / social subject, the arguments for and against certain positions should be made on the basis of the issues at hand, not on simplistic extrapolations from historical events, figures, and issues that were particular to their own contexts and time periods. Though certainly history can and should elucidate our understanding of the present as well as the past, using the past as a weapon in a contemporary political/social debate is inherently dangerous, for it risks obscuring more measured views of the past with hyperbole, confirmation bias, polemics, and (most importantly for me) historical inaccuracies that, through reductionism, view everything in history and in the present in overly simplistic terms. Doing so, in turn, does nothing to further either better historical inquiry or produce effective academic/political/social dialogue on vital contemporary issues (As an aside, I should also add that for Christians, I dare say, such reductionism is anathema to developing a stronger faith based on humility, prayer, theological study, contemplation, and intellectual honesty). But don’t just take my word for it. A number of excellent scholarly historical works—by both Christians and non-Christians—have been written about the nature of historical inquiry, research and writing, and the historical profession’s purpose(s) in explaining contemporary events and issues. In particular, the works of Richard J. Evans (In Defense of History), John Lewis Gaddis (Landscapes of History), Joyce Abbelby / Lynn Hunt / Margaret Jacob (Telling the Truth About History), and George Marsden (A Christian View of History? and The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship), David Hackett Fisher (Historians’ Fallacies) and Jacques Barzun (The Modern Researcher) all explain and defend various notions of historical inquiry and methodology much more effectively than I can here. All readers of this site, and especially current or aspiring writers, should examine such books in order to learn exactly what historical inquiry is and what it is not. In my mind, Lively’s book is an example of the latter. History is a complex and challenging and often humbling discipline for many reasons, something I ask all readers here to keep in mind as you continue to debate these very important issues.

Prior posts in this series:

May 28 – Scott Lively wants off SPLC hate group list

May 31 – Eliminating homosexuality: Modern Uganda and Nazi Germany

June 3 – Before The Pink Swastika

June 4 – Kevin Abrams: The other side of The Pink Swastika

June 8 – A historian’s analysis of The Pink Swastika, part 1

June 9 – A historian’s analysis of The Pink Swastika, part 2

June 11 – American Nazi movement and homosexuality: How pink is their swastika?

June 15 – Nazi movement rallies against gays in Springfield, MO

June 17 – Does homosexuality lead to fascism?

June 23 – The Pink Swastika and Friedrich Nietzsche

List of posts on Uganda and The Pink Swastika

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Warren,

    Thank you for bringing Dr. Wyneken’s analysis.

  • Lynn David

    (As an aside, I should also add that for Christians, I dare say, such reductionism is anathema to developing a stronger faith based on humility, prayer, theological study, contemplation, and intellectual honesty).

    And yet references to Lively’s book has often been a staple of Christian sites and writings which speak out against homosexuality. Which either shows poor discernment or a choice to use anything which might speak out against gays and lesbians.

  • Lynn David

    Now if you want to broaden your historical interest, Lively says he has found that “The Poisoned Stream” of homosexuality pervades history. According to Lively:

    I have come to discover, through various leads, a dark and powerful homosexual presence in other historical periods: the Spanish Inquisition, the French “Reign of Terror,” the era of South African apartheid, and the two centuries of American slavery. My thoughts have increasingly turned toward writing a larger, more comprehensive analysis of homosexuality in history. I have come to believe, with Samuel Igra, that homosexuality has truly been a “poisoned stream” in human history. Igra traced the course of this stream through German history only, yet evidence suggests it is a river with many tributaries in many nations.

    Talk about an obsession. But then he didn’t get before 1890 in this effort.

    .

  • Lynn David

    For instance, concerning a recent Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, LifesiteNews said:

    The latest push to portray active homosexuals as victims of systematic Nazi attack contrasted with a recently growing body of evidence indicating wide-scale Nazi embrace of homosexuality.

    .

    In her 2006 study “The Pink Swastika as Holocaust Revisionist History,” renowned expert on sexuality Judith A. Reisman of the Institute for Media Education revealed that the 1995 “The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party” by Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams demonstrates that many key actively homosexual Nazi officials protected many homosexual individuals from harm.

    .

    “Lively and Abrams… document the homosexual movement as the agents that ensconced National Socialism (the Nazi party) and Adolf Hitler, thus triggering a holocaust which engulfed all of Europe,” wrote Resiman.

    .

    While Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” degraded Jews, Marxists, Negroes, Chinese, Arabs, women, and Eastern Europeans, the Fuhrer had no negative remarks for homosexuality.

    And more….

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    There appears to be something called The Annotated Pink Swastika which does a nearly paragraph by paragraph refutation of Lively’s work.

    They confirm the position of Wyneken and Stein that Lively and Abrams would have had to have known that some of their claims were fraudulent. The elimination of sentences, restructuring of words, etc.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Clearly homosexuals were behind every evil act ever imagined. In fact, they probably aren’t even really human at all but have turned over their bodies to demons who are animating them for the advancement of Satan’s cause.

    Sometimes it gets a bit confusing, though.

    We know for fact that Da Vinci was in a pact with the Illuminati to begin to bring about a New World Order, all of which was hidden in code in his painting and mechanical diagrams. But what about Michaelangelo? Was he involved as well?

    And since Hitler was obviously a secret homosexual seeking to overthrow the world to impose homosexuality on all the men on the planet (he already has special homosexual breeding camps, you know), then why did homosexual Alan Turing break his code and help defeat him?

    Oh, it’s all so confusing. Good think we have Lively to keep us informed of the mechanations behind the scenes.

    ;)

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Timothy – You’re welcome and I thank Jon David for his work on this matter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Hi,

    I’m writing from Cape Town, South Africa, and finding the issue of the “Pink Swastika” and the influence of US fundamentalist groups in Africa very interesting. The whole Nazi issue also fascinates me, since I am a gay man of German ancestry. My parents have some email contact to friends in Germany who happen to hold rightwing and revisionist views concerning the Nazis (although they do not share them), and what Lively proposes, which is that homosexuals led to the Nazi regime, would shock the socks of these people. Those who have somehow become convinced that Nazism (and its documented homophobia) was something positve or misunderstood would consider a causal link between Nazi Germany and homosexuality as blasphemy! For such a radical thesis, Lively includes a lot of “might” statements, such as gays might sometimes class themselves as butch or fem, but not always (only when it suits the author), Hitler might have had gay sex, been a prostitute, into coprophilia but maybe not. How much here is historically viable, and how much opinion and perception masquerading as fact? It is very similar to conspiracists who stress the Jeswish connections to the Nazis, and argue that the holocaust was a plot by top Jews (like the Rothschilds) to sacrifice the masses in the name of finance and the creation of Israel. In other words – an inner circle of fascist Jews created their own holocaust! It is the same reasoning as that of Lively. Oh, and of course the Nazis wanted control of Jewish occultism, which they studied, and therefore had to wipe out all rival Cabbalistic knowledge via the Jews. Although I am just half-way through “The Pink Swastika”, the link between occultism and homosexuality has been selectively made, considering that certain Nazis studied all kinds of mystic beliefs, from Kabbalah to Buddhism, and maintained their link with mainstream churches (when it suited them). Controversially it is even claimed that Hitler was himself “Jewish” from his grandmother’s side, and that his birth village of Dollarsheim was shelled to remove all traces of his Rothschild ancestry. So this “blame the victim” scenario has been done before it was applied to homosexuals. It’s not that hard to do either, considering that the Nazis used all kinds of people when it suited them. Homosexuality has always been labelled as the vice of the “other” people one doesn’t like, and it has been variously called the “English vice”(particularly the “public school vice”), “the French vice”, or in claims that the only things the Russians never banned was vodka and sodomy, and in Africa there are commentators who maintain that homosexuality is an un-African, Western (notably British) import. Lively simply selects such statements about the Germans and portrays them as general truths. Even the US had a Nazi Party, and Presscott Bush was Hitler’s banker, so are they now going to write a book blaming the majority of Americans for Nazi Germany? I wonder if Martin Bormann and other fierce heterosexuals who were to inherit the Reich will get a mention. I’m quite interested in parrallels to South Africa’s National Party, which was heavily influenced by leaders who were sympathetic to Nazi Germany. While homosexuality was illegal under apartheid, it was also hardly spoken about until the late stages. some of the gay groups in the 1980s were racist, fought in the SADF and sought official tolerance by being “apolitical” and thus supporting apartheid. However, white gay males were also prolific in the liberation struggle, particularly in the End Consciption Campaign, which resulted in smear campaigns that linked “traitors” to “queers”. I must dust off my books, but one closted gay Nationalist minister bemoaned the “unGodly” behavior of kissing and hugging soccer players in public, while steering for a scandal that led to murder in private. So Lively does touch on a truth, and that is that those who condem the loudest in public, have skeletons in the private closet. One only needs to consider the list of gay scandals in right-wing US-styled Christianity. Any system that claims to be sexually or racially pure is obviously hiding a lot, and the diabolical and amoral individuals who align themselves with the oppressors can never be convincingly likened to the victimized many by one common trait, unless one already harbors a prejudice against that trait and blames them for everything wrong under the sun. In 2002 I wrote a thesis on a local example of US homophobia titled “The Pink Agenda: Sexual Revolution in South Africa and the Ruin of the Family” (Christine McCafferty and Peter Hammond), and it is only now that I realize how much of the book was inspired and lifted from “The Pink swastika”, and a published rebuttal to this work will collapse the foundations for much of the secondary arguments in such texts. Keep up the great work. In reality it is so sad that the holocaust must be dragged into current politics like this, since it really undermines the sacrifice and worth of all its victims, simply because it remains the biggest evil of modernity, and unfortunately anyone who points out something as evil must link this to Nazi Germany – a period in history that had its unique circumstances and contradictions that can barely be really understood today. According to my grandparents, at first it really seemed to offer something to all levels of German society, and claimed to be, to quote Consantine, “all things to all people”. To sum up, for me, “The Pink Swastika” falls into a larger body of highly selective and misleading material that has posited any number of unpopular groups as Nazis, including “Nazi Catholics”, “Nazi Jews” and even “Nazi Britain” or “America”. In structuralist terms it was only a matter of time before esoteric and incidental links between gays and Nazis brought two respective constructions of “modern monsters” together under a single ideation, which then completely ignores homosexuality and transvestism in the anti-fascist forces. Luv, Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Hi again:

    I just rembered a quote by Hitler on homosexuality that researchers may find interesting. Simon LeVay writes in “Queer Science: The Use and Abuse of Research into Homosexuality” (MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1996):

    “… they (the Nazis) considered homosexuality to be the moral equivelant of an infectious disease that, by means of seduction, could spread all too easily through the ranks of Germany’s finest youth. That Hitler himself espoused this theory is made clear in a memorandum issued by his headquarters on August 19, 1941, which read in part: “… More often than not, a homosexual seduces a number of boys, so that homosexuality is actually as infectious and as dangerous as the plague.” (Quote shortened, p. 38.)

    This reasoning is equal to that of the Christian Right, which does not regard homosexuality as innate, but as a largely environmental disorder, and therefore reversible to heterosexuality. Famously, the Nazis were very keen on expanding the “master race”, and the breeding of large families for soldiers and colonists for the “lebensraum”. The “conversion” of boys to sterile homosexuality was therefore anthema to the ideology. Similarly, fundamentalists do not see gays per se as a fixed minority, but as a lifestyle that will spread unchecked (along with its perceived social harm) in a society that tolerates gay rights and equality. Of course this doesn’t say much for the “inherent desireability” and “goodness” of heterosexuality. I suppose it’s “Go forth, be fruitful and multiply at all costs”. Perhaps it’s suspicious that Hitler never procreated himself, but then again, at least according to official Christianity, neither did Jesus, who spent most of his documented time with other men (and here too, there are all kinds of textual rumours). When one raises the latter point, it is simply stated that the bride of Christ is His male dominated church – a remarkably homoerotic metaphor. The homoerotic content of some fundamentalist writing can be quite astounding, considering the broad homophobic discourse. This is particularly the case of the all-male Promise Keepers ministry. Anton Chaitkin writes on his “Promise Keepers Mind Control Techiniques” website that their book “Masculine Journey” (by Lt. Col. Robert Hicks) encourages Promise Keepers to bond by visualizing the nude Jesus on the cross. Perhaps Lively’s next book will be “The Pink Fundamentalists: Reborn Homoeroticism exposed”. (Joke – although one never knows what we’ll be blamed for next.) Well, I thought it might be interesting.

    Luv, Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Correction-my initial comment stated that Hitler was born in Dollarsheim (actually Döllersheim), when he was indeed born in Braunau am Inn. Dollarsheim was however the place of official family documentation and registry, which was indeed destroyed on Hitler’s orders in 1942. The whole confusing conspiracy of Hitler’s alleged Jewish ancestry can be searched under “Iran: Hitler was a Jew” (http://engforum.pravda.ru/archive/index.php/t-187332). Some commentators here make it clear that it shouldn’t matter whether Hitler was a quarter Jewish, Celt, Slav, whatever. The top Nazis probably knew that they were preaching a hotch-potch of fairytales, and it is unclear to what extent they believed their own ideology. In a censored system of silence, actual belief is hard to gauge. This is however just a footnote to my wider point that victims of the Nazis were themselves blamed for instigating the holocaust, lately by Lively and company, and anti-Semites in Iran. Lively clearly wants to expand the traditional Masonic-Jewish conspiracies to the Masonic-Jewish-Homosexual conspiracy (should we feel honored?). It is probably fair to say that the Nazis did allow certain individuals of the targeted groups to escape, which doesn’t detract from their horrific deeds and schemes. But reading the “poisoned streams” in history quotes above, it is clear that Lively has cast his net much wider. Simple really, since homosexuality is a natural variation in nature and humans, and it can therefore be found everywhere, even in the darkest, most homophobic places. Homophobia is one feature of evil regimes, and is instigated by both heterosexual and homosexual tormentors. There may be many reasons why some gays end up in the structures of evil regimes, from self-hatred (internalized homophobia), opportunism, and yes, some are twisted and wicked. Individuals who are constantly open to blackmail are also easier to control, a salient point in states and within groups that turn criminal. However, none of the systems mentioned by Lively allowed a modern gay movement with a focus on healthy gay expressions and an open discourse around civil and equal rights. I cannot wait to read what Lively has to say on apartheid South Africa, since there were no homosexuals in positions of power, except allegedly two minor cabinet ministers in the 1980s. All white men had to serve in the apartheid army or face lengthy prison terms, and the SADF was convinced it could cure homosexuality. The lengthy periods in homosocial environments faced by whites in the army and black migrant laborers in the mines probably led to a degree of opportunistic homosexuality and exploitation, but it mainly damaged black gender relationships. It seems apartheid only realized in the mid-1970s that it could be homophobic, and as under MCarthyism (now there’s a possible closet case for Lively) the understanding of “moffie” (queer) and “communist traitor” became fused, similar to “pinko liberal communist”. Black activists who were gay, such as Simon Nkoli and Zackie Achmat did however pave the way for anti-discrimination bills on the grounds of sexual orientation in our post-1994 constitution. One doubts this would have happened if apartheid was not strongly associated with homophobia. As is well documented, the American Religious Right of the 1980s supported apartheid as being anti-communist and anti-revolutionary, a stance for which they have never apologized. Apartheid was often called the “National Party at prayer” and claimed Biblical support for all its policies. It’s easier to now blame the gays, who were outcasts and potential criminals under apartheid. So gays were first leftist traitors, and now they are Nazis, I suppose they are always the insidious “enemy within”. Although Lively and his followers clearly have demonizing intentions with their “histiography” it can have paradoxical effects. The stereotyped image of the weak, gay victim is certainly challenged, as is the notion of the uncommon pervert. But mostly, it proves that gays are considered a traceable, fixed people, often indispensable to both good, and even the most wicked and misguided of systems. Thank you Mr. Lively, I feel so much more relevant and important now, and the responses to your work will doubtlessly prompt historians to also research and uncover the fecund goodness of gay people.

    Peter.

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  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Hi-does colonialism lead to deah? Sure it does.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Peter – Appreciate your insights, I intended to ask you about Aparthied so I am glad you discussed it.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Well, it seems that apartheid will be discussed, and if there are any specific questions, I would like to answer them. Apartheid grew out of the tail-end of Briitish and other colonialism. The effects of this system are still very much with us, that is, the majority of black people are very poor.

    However, the true native people are known as the “Khoisan” (bushmen and hottentots). The black tribes only moved into the fertile areas since the iron age. From what I gather at present, “apartheid ” is alive and well all over the planet, which means that many people have no rights as humans, and no rights to their resources. Most people have no history, and no hold on reality. So “aparthreid” is global. Apartheid means that some people work all day and earn nothing, while others work and earn too much. Apartheid means reality: that is, your birth largely controls whether twelve hours of work means lots of money, or hardly any money at all. Apartheid means two different nations and peoples on this planet: one nation has everything, and another nation has nothing.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Hi-had a bit to drink and cannot outline everything here, suffice to say that apartheid had a lot to do with providing labor, and as such it has to do with capitalism and worker’s rights. Anyway, here is a bit of my memoir, from my white apartheid school days:

    “My first “coming out” was in Excelsior Primary School in Bellville. This was around 1989 and the segregated white schools were meant to be a preparation for the inevitable military service that awaited every white male at the end of his schooling or studies. It was the period in which every assembly featured songs and readings steeped in National Party propaganda that celebrated the Afrikaner as the chosen people of God. We were taken for rides in casspirrs by the riot police and shown pictures of ANC atrocities: The charred heads of black people with tyres around their bodies, doused in petrol and burnt alive by “communists”. The male teachers frequently wore military uniforms, and us boys in standard five were made to march around as army cadets. Like any fascist system, there was an extreme aura of homoeroticism; intense corporal punishment rituals, army films and same-sex exercises, rugby fanaticism and military-styled camps with lots of “boys playing with their toys” (although as a member of the marginalized English class, I missed out on all the action). Eventually, during the final pre-exam sleepover in the school library I offered to give the Afrikaans rugby hunk a blow job. The developed young man was quite literally hung like a horse, and at one SOS camp we all witnessed a semi-erect stallion, upon which all the Afrikaans boys shouted at him: “Dit lyk soos joune”! (it looks like yours!). The blowjob in the library turned out disastrous. He was more than willing, however, when he had his pants around his ankles, all I knew was to literally “blow” on his cock! The whole incident then unraveled somewhat embarrassingly, without the desired results. I realized that if I was to succeed as a military man, I still needed some practice! In this environment one could get away with a lot of things in the name of drama or theatre. It wasn’t so much a homophobic environment, as an environment in which the possibility of homosexuality simply did not exist. A boy or man in a frock was simply funny, and in this sense, the culture was quite innocent and naïve. As a child of German immigrants, all the Nationalist holy cows meant nothing to me, since I was never really born into that culture, which for most of my fellow learners was extended into their Calvinistic homes and churches. At the very last assembly of my standard five year, every class of that standard could perform a short play before the whole school. After much arguing, the English class decided to perform a variety show with various “pop artists”. I lip-synched to all my favorite pop songs, and grabbed my crotch for Michael Jackson’s Dirty Diana. My tour de force was Mandy Smith’s Boys and Girls, for which I wore a short gaudy dress, shades and a wig, as I pranced about the stage blowing kisses at my rugby hunk in the first row. During the final verse my energy sank as I stared straight at the vice principle, sitting stony faced, the disapproval steaming behind his reflective “Vlakplaas” glasses. I knew that I had gone too far. I quickly changed clothing as we returned to the assembly to utter some Christian or other patriotic oath. Fortunately it was the last day, and I think the teachers were glad to ignore me in the knowledge that I would just go away. We shook hands with all the teachers on our way out, and one Afrikaans teacher said to me: “Goodbye Boy George”. Yip, for those in the know, I had definitely come out in front of the whole school.”

    Peter Damm.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Hi again. It seems that this “blog” moves slowly, and apologies if I seem to be overwhelming it. I enjoy blogs on issues that affect me. I came to the awareness of this site while researching HIV/AIDS. I ended up in a Christian fundamentalist site: http://gcmwatch.wordpress.com/, or the “Gay Christian Movement Watch”. It struck me that they had a page on HIV/Aids. On this page they bemoan the fact that somebody is into “positive living” with HIV, and they seem to argue that this person should rather stay miserable, so as not to make HIV out as a good thing. Next comes a photo of somebody in the final stages of AIDS, who, we are told, had only been in the gay “lifestyle” for less than 5 years. The parents state that this person had preferred “Chinese treatments”, and that he would probably still be alive if they had used anti-retrovirals. Sickeningly, the fundamentalsit Christians use this case on their website to knock all gay expression, and they argue that HIV should never be proclaimed as healthy or normal. They also go into a lengthy discussion on whether gays are the most affected group concerning HIV/Aids. Yet, HIV seems to be a footnote here, what they actually criticize is “positive living” without the “reborn” sloganeering. Somebody, God forbid, is actually happy without their intervention! In this whole discussion (which is sadly closed) they talk about Aids as if it really just came from the gay US community. It seems they ignore the entire continent of Africa, and its hetero pandemic, which can be at least traced back to 1959. I am a HIV-positive South African, and I am deeply shocked by the level of discourse in the US. I am into positive living, and do these people expect me to repent and curl up and die, when I am not even ill? I’m reading the biography of the Phelps clan (see http://godhatesfundamentalists.com/), and it really makes me wonder: why did you sacrifice so much to liberate others from fascism? I mean, I’m glad that you did, but it seems you destroyed the ambitions of one Hitler, only to allow several other racist, homophobic idiots to blossom. So even as I read on fundamentalist sites that all porn is really “gay porn”, and all disease is really “gay disease”, I wonder, are these people just abnormal? How on earth do people come up with these things? Although I do not wish to judge others, but what has gone wrong in US society to the extent that the lives of others become religious metaphors or political ciphers? How does a society get so cold?

    Peter Damm.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Hi again:

    I did feel a bit silly about my contributions following Warren’s last comment. I think I may have misunderstood the site as more of an instant discussion group. My “memoir piece” is only part of the story, and open homophobia certainly became an issue during high-school, as did the guilty realization of having been white in an apartheid society, however the site is probably not the best place to go into specific depth about apartheid. My last comment was also more a solicidation of comment, rather than an attack on any specific “society”. However, reading on HIV/Aids at present does bring in huge amounts of reference to holocaust issues, as well as to Western society’s problematic writing of witnessing. Of course, my pieces above after Warren’s comment can be edited. To return to the topic at hand, it is still ironic that gays are focused on as essentialist history by groups that claim “gay people” simple aren’t. Surely their current arguments on “curable lifestyles” would be better served by discussing perversion in general amongst the Nazis, or other “poisoned streams” in history? It’s really a catch-22 for them, because if they did this, what most readers consider non-perverted homosexuality would be reinforced, which is an oxymoron to fundamentalists, since to them, all homosexuality is perverted. What is clear is the pervasive influence of Lively’s work on general fundamentalist websites. Especially the “homosexualist” (or what the more blunt Rev. Phelps labels as “fag enablers”) becomes a new species in a contemporary homophobic paradigm. If Lively lifted this from elsewhere in his glossary terminology, then it is not footnoted. But the ultimate result of the “homosexualist” view is then an argument that has to turn against every individual and group that tolerates homosexuals, just as the Rev Phelps (see http://www.godhatesfags.com) has done by turning on most other churches, races and US institutions – everything really outside his inter-generational sect. This attitude (which is both as ridiculous as it is consistent) would however hardly be a vote-catcher for the dominion politics of the religious right. The ultimate point of Lively’s argument, even if he could prove a CAUSAL LINK between homosexuality and the Nazis, is unclear. Sure, the Shoar against the Jewish people was unique in so many respects, and every targeted group was different. But, often groups of victims could overlap ie. Jewish gays, and under apartheid, black gays. Anyhow, without writing again at length, considering that my first three contributing points were coherent enough, I would like to leave 2 more resources. The first concerns some pictures and stories form http://www.tellingpictures.com schwules museum which refer directly to gays under the Nazis. For anyone interested in apartheid and the gay experiences, please read Krouse, Mathew and Berman, Kim: “The Invisible Ghetto: Lesbian and Gay Writing from South Africa”. Cosaw Publishing, Johannesburg: 1993.

    Luv,

    Peter Damm.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Adore the sacred, which is both male and female. According to ancient legend men and women went to war, and it was the “berdarche” who reuninted humanity! This is a Hopi/Navaho myth.

    So, some might be too Western or Indian, or too male and female. But one thing is sure: I’m a human being, and Raymond Peltier must go free!

    So we live in this crying game,

    as if freedom only belonged to

    other people.

    But freedom

    moves amongst our people,

    and some might say,

    this nation is free!

    To be a man is war,

    unless it is in battle,

    for the self.

    To be a man

    is fighting

    deep in

    the self.

    Peter Puma-Paw.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    What about the little voices: Roma and Sinti?

    What about the aborigines,

    the Tasmanians?

    Sadly, in the US, the gender bias is on “men” in prison.

    No bias on the prison around men and women daily!

    Poverty,

    dirt and HIV.

    all power must be sexual,

    but not all men are evil.

    Some men we pray for,

    like Jesus.

    Other men,

    we wish the wind blew away,

    like Columbus.

    Puma-Paw.

    (Oklahoma “Ponca”).

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    The above was inspired by discussions with a Native American on the nature of evil in US society and gender, and the myopic vision of some commentators there pointing out “evil” elsewhere, when the majority of the planet views US wars (the only country to be at war since WW II) as a wicked, big industry hegemony. A “poisoned stream indeed”, many would argue, and right-wing, “reborn” Christianty is regarded as the ideology to back lies about weapons of mass destruction, carpet bombings of innocent civilians, double speak on blatant torture and the greedy rape of the planet. So, what Lively and other stillborn “pretend’ Christians have done in Africa is just an expansion of wickedness. The fact that they are even talking about sexuality as a centrality, considering much greater scandals going on, shows that they are really into human manipulation. May they be judged as they judge others. My heart goes out to the long-suffering Native peoples (who know all about this), and the majority of good American people. Lively can be safely viewed as minor piece in a wider corrupt hegemony, who will never sell all their belongings to give to the poor as Jesus instructed. They discuss sexuality as if it was removed from their scandalous religious-political movement. But people are never outside “nature” or sexuality – so whenever they point their fingers, it points right back.

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Shortly: I just read “The Lucifer Effect: How good people turn evil” by Philip Zimbardo (Rider, Random House: 2007). It begins with the Stanford experiments in the 1970s, which showed how quickly college students could be altered to assume the roles of gaurds and prisoners, with disturbing effects. Sexual abuse gradually came to the fore, superficially as homophobic mocking and bullying, that took on sado-masochistic overtones. The Abu-Ghraib torture imagery by young (presumably straight and religious US soldiers) is also analyzed. Fascinating how Christian programs like the “700 Club” wrote this of as “hazing” and youthful horse-play. These images were right out of the sado-masochistic torture chamber! Makes one wonder what really lurks behind the pious pretense and constant interest in (homo)sexuality. So here we had the George W. Bush years, a president who was a self-proclaimed “reborn Christian”, with a largely right-wing religious constituency. The same constituency that is anti-porn, unless of course it came from their own hegemony. The public didn’t hear too much (only that the abuses would be investigated and stopped) although Zimbardo links them to a deliberate commands from above, and he includes a photo of a female soldier posing over a body of an Iraqi who died under the strappado torture (p.410). In the mixed-gender military of the time, the sexual torture can also not be blamed on homosexuality. Perhaps in a sense, what the Christian right produces is a form of pornography in its own standing, the “poisoned stream” in which Mr. Lively swims. I raise this text and the issues to demonstrate how ubiquitous sexual torture and perversion is under the circumstance of war and “us vs. them” child-like mentalities. Therefore, when discussing the Nazis and their wider cultural framing, it can be noted that sexual orientation has nothing to with analyzing evil, and explains nothing – just as little as simply calling the US torturers “male” or “female” or “heterosexual” does. As Hannah Arendt pointed out after the Eichmann trial, evil is not a persona, it is banal. Under the right manipulation and peer pressure the majority of people could probably commit acts akin to the Nazis, and as Zimbardo reminds us, they indeed continue to do so. As such there is nothing about the Christian right that provably prevents the most demonic evil.

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Peter – Thanks for bringing up Zimbardo’s book. I should review it here.

  • Michael Bussee

    Wow. The posts are getting kinda racy…

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Hi Michael:

    “Racy” (I assume the sexual connotation, not “racy” as in “racist”) is in the mind of the beholder, but that is really my crux. Once inside a sexual discource, it is difficult to pretend it is something objective and neutral. The Vicotrians once used parts of the Bible for masturbation, and nothing here is as racy as Genesis, Exodus, Judges or Song of Solomon. The “Pink Swastika” is a text about (homo)sexuality that exposes the reader to multiple esoteric perversions, and its derivative “The Pink Agenda” (Cafferty and Hammond) was one of the first post-1994 SA texts that was slapped with a 16-year-of-age restriction. Consider the following statement I read in the latter text from a Christian bookstore:

    “Others eat or wallow in faeces. Homosexuals engage in oral-penile contact with almost all their sexual contacts (and injest semen form half of these). The forearm may be shoved through the rectum into the colon. Other objects and small animals may also be inserted” (2001: p.21, McCafferty and Hammond: Christian Action Africa).

    Meanwhile the debate is on inner attraction and identity politics. However, the framing that is being responded to is “homosexuality” (although Lively’s text includes many others, including, somewhat ironically, Hitler’s perversions with women). But yes, generally the entrapment in the parameters of sexuality is problematic (and at times, uncomfortable), but just consider the preponderance of Freudian material in some feminist and post-colonial criticism.

    One is responding to very harsh, sexual polemics that are at once “racy” and anti-sexual (unless one seriously only assumes sexuality is repression, self-control and one single heterosexual partner in marriage).

    I would just like to repeat that my anti-polemics to the current constructs in question are not an attack on any general people, religion or all “reborn Christians”, some of whom are my friends and are also quite disturbed by some of this.

    Luv and peace,

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Just one last correction before I sign off for a while (before this becomes a monologue), the “Raymond” Peltier in the “poem” above should be Leonard Peltier. For Native traditions on the “berdache” (actually a misplaced French word for an alternative gender identinty in many first-nations), see Roscoe, Will: “The Zuni Man-Woman” (St. Martin’s Press, 1991).

    Otherwise, my heart goes out to the suffering gay and lesbian people of Uganda and Zimbabwe, and the term “racy” wouldn’t come close to the evil they must suffer. Let it be remebered that the issues at hand are connected to very real and disturbing human rights issues and abuses.

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Peter – Re: Uganda and Zimbabwe, agreed. Since the American presenters went to Uganda, the govt has cracked down hard. The church reports no effective approach. For sure, this reborn Christian is troubled by the developments there.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    On corrections and an update on “The Pink Agenda” saga see http://www.christianaction.org.za/media_letters/aca_2002-05-03_pinkagendalifted.htm. The age-restriction was 18 in 2002 and then removed. The judges ruled that although the text showed an obsessive dislike of homosexuals (and did not just present a social argument based on Christian “love”), the ban was over-turned for the surprising reason that future texts on homosexuality might all be similarly affected. I also think I might have misunderstood the “racy” comment (not much used in standard English), but it brought me to a crucial point on the discourse. Well, happy 4th of July to all US people! Spread the love.

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    I would just like to state that the wider paradigms of this site have just been made obvious to myself. Apon entering I was not aware of any such alignments, just a historical debate. My apolgies go out both to the reborn Christians and the gay people that I may have offended. My statements may be slanted, but stand as they are. To a lesser degree, I see no reason to cease my engagement, and forgive me for being a bit of an idiot, but I had no clue on who anybody was when I landed here. As long as the human rights issues in Africa are agreed upon, I would say God bless to all.

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Peter, no need to apologize. Glad to have your perspective.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Hello Again:

    I must just say how impressed I am with a site from Christian quarters that allows freedom of debate. The first posts seemed very critical of the “Pink Swastika”, and this is what created my impression that it was a gay-orientated, but I always assumed it would be read by a range of people. The debate has been so polarized, that if one doesn’t hear the condemnations and accusations of “hate speech” from either side, it can become confusing (particularly if one does research and comments from outside the US). Whether adult people want to change their sexual practice and identity in line with religious beliefs should really be their own choice. However, forcing children into conversion camps is another matter of concern, just as it would be to force sex on children.. Surely nowadays one can expect people to be exposed to various viewpoints, and decide for themselves? Perhaps the labels “gay”, “homosexualist” and even “reborn Christian(ianist)” are all disputable. Perhaps one could come up with a “Kinsey scale” of 0-10 for the Christian view on homosexuality, 0 being totally opposed, (and in favor of harsh punishments, even the death penalty for gay acts and homosexualist speech), and 10 being in favor of total equality and same-sex acts and relationships (and gay interpretation of theology, with all dissenting voices banned as “hate speech”). It really seems that there are a number of views along the scale, and it is not as clear-cut as one assumes.

    A while back, I contributed to a website called The Edger, in a Christian vs. atheist debate on our local “faith like potato preacher”, Angus Buchan (who would rate about 4 on the scale, since he believes the “gay can be simply prayed away”). Then, I called myself a “liberal gay Christian”, and I was attacked as “frustrated” and in need of repentance, although I always maintained my beliefs in the Nicene Creed (i.e. the existence of Christ as both human and divine, His death and resurrection). Having been celibate for 4 years, I now realize I probably could have called myself “ex-gay”, but not “heterosexual”. Since then I’m not so sure anymore about the proofs of Christianity, and see it more as a constructed mixture between various paganisms and Judaic-reformism. So, does one get non-religious “ex-gays”, or are they labeled something else (celibate, straight, bisexual, “atheistic ex-gays”), and does one still get non-religious practitioners of conversion therapy? Why have a label such as “ex-gay”, which is still a type of “gay”, or is it a discourse borrowed form Alcoholics Anonymous, in which the “addict” remains in eternal recovery/remission? Personally, I choose to limit myself to a great circle of currently mainly straight friends in my suburb, and choose to avoid the “gay scene” in Cape Town, which I find superficial and alienating. What I always wondered about is why this is such an issue in certain forms of Christianity? When I spent time with the Hare Krishnas this was never an issue, and sexuality is really only discussed in terms of sex in marriage to create a new devotee. Everyone else is expected to be celibate (although I do know that ISKON has had its share of scandals, not really in SA though). I found the male ashram very gender confirming in a non-sexual way, with a lot of possibility in sharing labor with the other gender, and all loving attraction was really re-directed to Krishna. The gender divisions in worship and quarters actually made me feel I “belonged”, and I never wanted to ruin that feeling by bringing up my homosexuality. The down side of course is that one joins in a group that is very enclosed, strict in many respects, and monotonous in the long-term, to certain tastes. They very much remain a group “outside” the mainstream, just like I think early Christianity was outside the mainstream of the “World”, and I think the problem occurs when it becomes entangled in the “wider world” by attempting to dominate secular society. Currently there is a lot of debate on homosexuality in India and Islam, and on the role of castrati and “hijras” as a “third sex” across the ancient and historical worlds. A lot of defensive Christian fundamentalists simply say that they brought the culture of human rights to the West (an astounding argument), and that gays should be grateful that they aren’t stoned to death as is the case in some Islamic states. Displacing the debate elsewhere, on Nazis or Islam solves nothing, since Christianity, especially missionary activity is also persecuted in such states. So ironically, the gay cause and Christian cause are ironically interlinked as aspects of freedom of speech, and at least this much seems to be recognized here. Those who would wish to deny gay rights completely, would then revert culture to a pre-modern state, perhaps similar to the Taliban, where alternative beliefs and rival forms of state-religion are also not tolerated.

    What is paradoxical is the antagonisms in US culture, which Arial Levy has labeled “raunch culture”. It is a culture that was at once both right-wing in discourse, yet retained Paris Hilton as its mascot, with the “new feminism” turning towards porn-star behavior and surgical alterations to assume pin-up looks. In this “new feminism” male chauvinistic ideals of “sexiness”, rather than sexual pleasure becomes an end in itself. Levy writes on the Bush years, although the raunchiness remains today:

    “This may seem confusing considering the ‘swing to the right’ this country has taken, but raunch culture transcends elections. The values that people vote for are not necessarily the same values that they live by. No region has a higher divorce rate than the Bible-belt … even if people consider themselves conservative or vote republican, their political ideals may be just that: a reflection of the way they wish things were in America, rather than a product of the way they actually experience it.” (Ariel Levy: Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, Pocket books, 2006. Pages: 28-29.)

    In SA this cultural paradox, in which people preach the one moment and discuss Desperate Housewives or FHM in the next, has likewise long taken hold. Furthermore, the political debates on HIV/Aids have ripped sexuality into the public sphere, where previously it was a very taboo topic. So, the question arises, to what are ex-gays converting? Are they converting to a highly dysfunctional heterosexuality in the mainstream, or are they to be more sect-like in their approach, while the wider straight culture continues to bump and grind around them? Well, despite my ponderings, sexuality is out there, and, whether in religious or secular discourse, it is no longer “innocent”. Strangely, sexuality is now constantly discussed in terms of remedies and maladies, whereas a few decades ago it was publicly taboo, whereas issues of race, racism and “civilizing” the racial Other were acceptable. Interesting, how we re-invent the Other to suit our current needs, in the increasingly uniform global village. Anyway, outside the confines of a sect, converting gays to heterosexuality seems rather pointless. So, perhaps I answer my own question: the “ex-gay” is most-likely a religious phenomenon (perhaps a recognition that “straight” is also problematic), although several atheist/agnostic parents would probably also rather have raunchy hetero offspring than gay kids. Sadly therefore, it seems that religious ex-gays can become pawns to prove the power of faith to a whole range of unbelievers; as such they are really sincere people in the wider religion versus science debate. Of course, as believers, that is their democratic right.

    Well, enough from me already, those interested in the gay “conversion therapies” of the old South African Defense Force, please read and see the links on http://www.q.co.za/news/2000/07/000728-sexchange1.htm.

    Luv to all,

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Couldn’t resist a last and very clinical question: if a “gay man” came to a psychiatrist open to “conversion therapy” (for lack of a better word), who was gay in all respects, but liked S&M spanking so much that a woman doing this could turn him on, would you encourage that fetish, and for him to find an appropriate woman? Or would you attempt to redirect both impulses? In other words, to fetishists, the fetish can sometimes override sexual orientation. If that fetish can ultimately encourage biological intercourse with one woman, is it functional? But in any case, where does a ‘good Christian man” find such a woman?

    Just wondering-Peter.

    Also wanted to add, the social constructionists in liberal acedemia have long argued that sexuality is fluid and not “essentailist”, and they never attract the same hatred as religious people who basically say the same thing. I am an essentialist personally, but it is a strange double standard.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Hi:

    Just glanced at Rick Ross’s Cult News for the latest updates on the TBN saga. Amused to see peolpe are still sending them cash, even as Paul Crouch paid of his former gay lover over 400, 000 Dollars to keep his trap shut. Yet anyone who goes through the tedium of actually viewing the channel will get the idea that this is the “model” family, although apparently off-air Paul and his drag-queeny wife supposedly live apart. People here are really still impressed with the whole sham, even as the son gets more funding for another unsightly movie. What one can say is that the set designs and hairdos are all extremely “camp”, and watching it as a gay person feels a bit like one is party to an “in-joke” (as in “wink wink”). I could say much more on what appears when one googles Benny Hinn, and his plethora of false prophesies (including that God would destroy all gays “with in the 1990s). Also facinating are the views, and supposed “Biblical” fact, that the Earth is only 6000 years old and that dinosaurs are still all around us (they just hide very well). So this is the campy milieu in which gays are supped to turn straight? And, I assume not just “straight” as in settling down with a female partner one really connects with, but “straight” as in replacing the Honcho magazines under one’s mattress with the Playboy (or whatever straight guys go for these days). Before one turns people straight, shouldn’t one first address this mess? These preachers claim that giving 10 percent of one’s salary to them is God’s law. Yet Jesus founded no priesthood (except all adult males), and the tithing supposedly comes from Malachi, which refers to tributes brought to an animal-sacrificing temple that was specifically destroyed. I assume that if Jesus really came back soon, these “Christians” wouldn’t float up in a rapture, but be pulled straight down to God’s hell. Sorry, just had to vent a bit, considerig the wider paradigm around “ex-gays” that people are supposed to swallow. To conclude, I wonder why gay male sex acts are generalized in the most graphic details, but lesbianism is never similarly described (only as an abstract footnote). Perhaps the description of lesbian acts would make the pornography aspect of anti-gay texts too obvious. The focus then is really on men, which is not surprising for a patriarchal religion – which is really quite “gay”.

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    I would repeat my question, is “curing” homosexuality just a religious thing, or does it have wider (scientific) support?

    Increasingly, however, considering Dawkins and so forth, it seems like religion must be “genetically” explained, and somehow the religiously prone require psycho-therapy. Do the general “reborns” need “re-programming”, now that the political sail has turned?

    Never mind, any talk of “re-programming” and “re-education” brings us right back full circle to the Nazis and communist horror.

    To sing Cabaret (the musical) means we can acknowledge that “freedom denied” is the end of the show…

    Yes my dear Jews, and Gentiles, and blacks and whites and Latinos, Arabs, lesbians and queers … you who look in the mirror every day, you who goes to the toilet and does menial things …

    The choice of good and evil is in your hands,

    For real history is not made by powerful dictators,

    It is made by you,

    I see all the victims,

    And all the monsters,

    In a single pair of eyes,

    Yes YOU, the mirror,

    - Goodnight.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Nailed to beams,

    He had no fear,

    His blood;

    our tears,

    His sacred screams.

    Looking down,

    upon our lot,

    He knew to say:

    “judge not, judge not”.

    He felt the hell,

    and cursed the spear,

    and writhed in pain,

    and death was shame.

    Some knew Him gentle,

    Kind and dear,

    Today they’d say:

    “You bloody queer”,

    Today they’d curse Him,

    “Bloody queer”!

    He saw the Roman’s

    Hands with grime,

    And realized,

    He was short of time,

    For metal spikes,

    and twisted pine,

    Made one man holy,

    and divine.

    No man can reason

    With that crime,

    But all who breathe,

    Their love can shine.

    So say it friend,

    It is sublime,

    In the darkness,

    You can shine,

    In every evil,

    Love must shine.

    In every hell,

    Love shines divine.

    - Peter Damm.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Peter – thanks for sharing that. I assume you wrote it?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Wow, hi Warren, I certainly just did, and I cannot believe it actually came from “me”. Been fighting a lot with a Christian female buddy about divorce and issues, and this could seriously blow her mind. Cannot quite paste it elsewhere, but I guess if you feel about something strongly enough, inspiration will come. But anyway, sorry about some of the more sub-standard posts, but yeah, I just wrote it, and was gonna stop after stanza one, but it just came.

    Luv to all,

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    PS. I cried while writing this, my keyboard is wet.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Bless you Peter.

  • Michael Bussee

    I am with Warren. And with you, Peter. You have my prayers.

  • Michael Bussee

    I would repeat my question, is “curing” homosexuality just a religious thing, or does it have wider (scientific) support?

    Peter: From what I can tell, it does not have much, if any, scientific support.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Dear Friends:

    Perhaps the problem that I encounter is “gay exclusivity” in discourses concerning “good” and “evil”. Why should such crucial issues be the debate around a specifically outcast/othered sub-culture in any case? Should it be up to us to save the hetero system? I really sometimes think that’s what’s implied.

    Although we should never overlook homophobia as a specific hate-crime and topic of discussion, it is but a foornote below so many other historical factors: an early warning system at best.

    Our numbers are secondary – not one African/Muslim state or region has produced a “refugee camp” of gay oppressed people in any “more liberal” country based on sexuality. But then, perhaps we have not been allowed to develop “ethnic identity”. There is no Gay Zionism… yet.

    And why not? Sodom for the Sodomites!

    Joke, but sexuality is so personal to every individual, that integration in both oppression and victimization in hetero affairs is our lot.

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Dear Friends:

    Mom and me had a very interesting lunch with an elderly Jewish couple. He harks from Hungary, and she from Lithuania. They’ve both spent time in israel, and once had partners who died. How surprising to see a romance of people ‘that” age, and I may not open the car door, because he wants to do this. And then there are all these rumours and snickerings about “old age” and elders acting like “teenagers”. But in their culture it doesn’t matter at all (age), and I think togertherness is a godly ideal above all.

    Apparantly we got a new TV channel, and they showed a history of psychiatry, and people were shocked, especially when they saw Alan Turing & other “heroes” getting deadly “conversion therapy” (hormones, electro-shock, lobotomy, genital mutilation).

    The question became “But why”?

    I couldn’t answer that. Why?

    It’s got something to do with the Bible. Men and women must act appropriately to their gender. They didn’t understand, that’s not how they learnt Torah.

    With total novices, how does one even begin to explain “Why”?

    Why all this suffering, why all this rigmarole?

    I heard some things from a man deaf in one ear who had witnessed war.

    And still, Why?

    I know “why” and the arguments.

    But to explain it –

    You tell me why?

    Luv,

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Dear Friends:

    Saw a program on MTV about “I’m a sex addct!” Actually it was mainly about a wife who demaded that her husband stopped watching porn and masturbating! I couldn’t stop thinking: “You silly cow, how could you throw your hubby out for wanking! Do you really think you’ll find a man who doesn’t do THAT?”

    Well, seems to me there are serious “ministries” against masturbation.

    Here, in SA, most people don’t even know it is wrong, again.

    My Christian friends still think it is the lesser evil, but now

    I see it is the major Evil!

    Indeed, the sin of Gommorah!

    The crime of Onan!

    Society must be taken back to the 19th Century to be happy!

    Let’s bring back people to healthy sexuality where only a vagina can mean “sex”.

    No more hairy palms, no more myopia,

    Viva vagina!

    Viva Jesus!

    Be a man amongst men

    and stop masturbating!

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Was reading in my Bible, to check up commentary: The Sabbath runs from Friday sundown until Saturday sundown.

    Why the “Sunday” blasphemy?

    This is in any case “paganism” and not “christianity”!

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    (Easter eggs

    and fluffy bunnies

    would give Jahova

    Godly runnies

    The Ishtar goddess

    don’t care how

    pagan rites

    turned holy cow

    Xmas tree

    so dear and green

    and trick or treat

    on hallowen

    Such blasphemies

    and a Catholic Bible

    makes the faithful

    seem quite tribal

    Like Tiberius

    born from a virgin

    this god is like

    a cosmic surgeon

    With faith and mind

    so undone

    I rise with clouds

    unto the sun)

    If good is light

    and love is might

    then my father is the sun

    and I reach Him

    through His son.

    The mind of man

    has come undone,

    we reach the light

    through the son.

    As night is dark

    and light makes day,

    follow the Jeshua ray.

    Leave your books

    and leave your gun

    and follow the words

    of the mighty one

    and come to the Father

    through His son.

    For all creation

    shines as one

    when we follow the Father

    through the

    Holy Son.

    Peter Damm.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Dear Friends:

    It is bitterly cold in Cape Town. Just before going to bed, I wonder, what is the relationship between sexuality and genocide? Some of our feminists have compared the violence in Rwanda to “God-ordained” tracts of the Bible. In this cold I think of Sand Creek, and how US soldiers wore Indian vaginas on their hats, and severed Cheyenne arms and legs were displayed in Denver.

    I mean are you sure these historical values are Christian? Are you really , really sure what you stand for is Biblical?

    I think we all need to check sometimes.

    Luv,

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Historical Trivia:

    “Profiles in Ethnology” (Service R, Elman . Harper & Row, 1978.) “At Sand Creek near Denver, a Cheyenne camp peacefully raised an American flag to a force of US soldiers, only to be shot down. The arms and legs of the victims were exhibited at the Denver Theater to great applause.” (p. 152). I saw the History Channel doccie, “Goering: A Career”. Interesting how Hitler was raising up new henchmen and Goering was de facto marked for death already upon his capture. Also bumped into info on theatrical “prohabition-era” preaching. Despite its influences on Nazis, it was anti-liquor (beer and wine were more disputed), anti-semitic, and fairly racist. It was pro-capitalist “boss obedience”, and said little on poverty and white dispossession. It condemed evolution as violently as it did reading novels. And yet, it is the tradition of current fundamentalism.

    Which brings me to my question: how can we really tell whether our current Christianity is the true and unchangeable form?

    Luv,

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    On traditions:

    Catholicism once told people how and when to have marital sex. Since fundamentalism comes as a restoring movement after secular influences have spread, I sometimes think, why don’t we all just become staunch Catholics again? Let’s all just have orgasms to have a child within marriage! No more spilling seed on the ground! My Christian friends however insist, although their theories sound like medieval Catholicism, that they are firmly Protestant.

    Now, I’m trying to discover: What did Martin Luther actually change in 1517?

    I know that the Puritans refused to celebrate Easter and Christmas or other pagan celebrations, and hence moved to the US. Here, such pagan aboninations were banned for 200 years, which is partially why we have “Thanksgiving Day” in the US.

    And yet, we’ve come full circle as mainstream Christianity(ies).

    I used to tell people that all non-vaginal sex is wrong, and was scoffed at as a Catholic. But now, even in many Protestant forms of US religion condoms and masturbation are wrong.

    I really get confused sometimes, because these days people shop for churches like shopping in malls, and the lifestyles often don’t fit the discourses. Sounds like paradoxical non-Catholic “Catholicism” to me anyway. Well, in the Lutheran way I was raised, maturbation is OK (and you don’t need “porn” to do it) and so is ‘good sex” within marriage.

    However, if masturbation is OK, then so is two men doing this together, or is it only wrong if they are looking at each other rather than straight porn (vagina)? According to the New Testament, does God still get irate with the wasted “seed”, rather than the object of attraction, because attraction between men, I would argue, is ubiqitous in the Bible. Wasting seed, however is a sin, under any circumstance, and makes men “unclean”. It reminds me of a “racy’” song from Poison: “You can look, but you can’t touch…yeah”. Well, all I’m saying is: the evangelical movemnt is splitting on such “issues” (pardon the pun).

    Luv,

    Peter.

    Luv,

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    On Germans:

    Just went into our garden, and saw an earthworm and smelt the dark, post-rain Cape air. Lovely.

    Thinking about Lively and Abrams and their book. Haven’t had that much time to peruse it or the annotated version closely. However, my mom is watching “Snow falling on Cedars”, or some Japanese tale of US internment camps.

    The gay legacy, and many other legacies of that horrible war took a lot of post-war activism to highlight and correct. I do realize that “The Pink Swastika” was a direct response to a sudden ribirth in interest in gay victimazation under the Nazis in the late 1980s.

    However, it does seem like an attack on “Germans” and that culture too, by claiming that Germanic culture was prone to Nazism because of some homosexual fluke. Germany never existed until 1871 (I think).

    I read in Bill Bryson’s memoir of growing up in Des Moines in the 1950s (“The Thunderbolt Kid”) that entire German communities in the rural US were destroyed and forced to speak English during the World Wars. There are still “whispers” of all kinds of atrocities against American Germans, although current history depicts them in supposedly comfortable, beer-fuelled holiday “camps”. Much of the rural Italian and German stories have never been told, and yet, there were more German immigrants to the US before 1950 than Irish.

    Luv,

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Dear friends:

    Finally, for tonight: Recently read “Hitler’s Willing Executioners”, and also on Nazi women and the relationship between the Nazis and the German people.

    I have come to doubt that Nazism was unique to the German people, and that in many German districts it had only tenuous support. Meanwhile, there is growing proof that it had a global following. I think, like some communism or religion, it is a compelling delusion that remains a global problem.

    Racial humor is now taboo, but the racial constructs of colonialism still infect our private worlds, even when we know they are as unprovable and cruel as the Eugenics that they sprang from.

    Luv,

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Nighty-night – but let’s face it, from Gandhi, to preachers, to English royals – many people had great hopes in Hitler at first.

    Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long for the Nazis to ruin it with every group, and to increasingly consolidate an “us vs. them” net/paradigm. The SS were first welcomed into the East (Ukraine/Russia), but they quickly ruined whatever support they had.

    So perhaps this is what being a neo-Nazi still is – somebody who dislikes everyone outside a defined in-group, and is seen as an agreed upon threat by the network of wider society.

    Wondering –

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Oops, still awake – but then, how do we define “tolerance”. As a “liberal”, shouldn’t I also tolerate Nazis?

    An old puzzle, but yes, we should, depending on what they do.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    If a person comes into a church these days, is anti-racism preached as virulently as homophobia? Is racism even a standard Biblical sin?

    It only tok one article on a mixed race couple in SA’s weekly tabloid “Die Huisgenoot” (“You” magazine) to show that miscegenation and the Bible is still a huge issue in Christianity.

    Most US Christian books and sermons have seen it as pre-resolved. It is currently actually obsfucated by class and other allegiances, yet it is glaring. It is a much bigger issue than the “gay issue”. It is already exploding. The gay issue is actually misused in this debate, but I’m not sure generally of black US teachings. But, if racism is always and inherently wrong, then are there conversion therapies/camps for racist teens?

    Perhaps one more question: If Columbus was a Muslim of that time, how would the US be different today, firstly concerning the fate of the Indians?

    Luv,

    Peter Damm.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Dear friends:

    Thinking about the racism issue in Christianity and reports on CNN that the most segregated hour in the US is Sunday mornings. And then there is the whole issue of black churches being critical of US foreign policy, and white churches that supported George W. Bush (and people like John Hagee preaching anti-Islamic/pro-Israel propaganda). If God and the Holy Spirit are real, then how can His followers be so divided?

    In SA the new black middle class prefers the slick Rhema image, while the Afrikaans press reflects a white movemet towards Angus Buchan, with his “commando image” and symbolic “Boer” hat. I once phoned our Capetalk Radio and asked how black people in general feel about that image. One caller said that any white farmer makes him want to throw up, and it is a carefully crafted image of problematic white masculinity. Of course there are some cross-over fans, but largely it is racially polarised marketing. Oh well, Uncle Angus claims he can “pray the gay away”, and I suppose homophobia is the only construct that is common to most modern fashions in Christianity. I suppose they have one common issue to be proud of – well done!

    Considering the “Faith like Potatoes” film, it is highly accaimed by international conservatives. Yet, the depiction of white racial abuse by white farmer is very problematic, especially because it is supposed to invoke humour, and it is never really resolved. I cannot actually believe some one would make such a film, where the eventual “racial tolerance” is depicted as a by-product of white male salvation, and the long, brutal political struggle is simply ignored. It’s a nice portrayal however of the on-going fusion between colonialism and Christianity.

    Luv,

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Finally, on racism:

    Thinking, if anti-racism was preached as a constant central message, and not a general footnote, the maga-churches and wider fundamntalist business would soon be bankrupt, as the masses go elsewhere. Imagine if racial quotas were enforced on church services. All the clergy and pastors would quickly have to get real jobs again, as was intended in the New Testament. OK, perhaps in fairness not all, but a lot of “good shepards” would lose their “loving” flock. I suppose being anti-gay is just much better for business.

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Dear Friends:

    I’ve been reading up a lot of atheist websites lately, and I think ultimately they have a point. There is no proof for most of the Biblical characters, and certainly not that Jesus was born from a virgin or travelled up to heaven on a cloud. Even the so-called Old Testament prophesies refer to the scapegoat sacrificial custom and the personification of Israel. At best, the people who invented the New Testament myth used the scape-goat myth. There is also no conformity on anything in the New Testament, and no single Gospel to define it all. So, nobody can prove God doesn’t exist, but then nobody can prove that the Flying Spaghetti Monster isn’t God either. It’s all just a business and mind control for the gullible. By this token if anyone claims something and calls it religion it must be true. And who are these con-men to say what God’s plan is for your life? Perhaps if billions of tax-free Dollars weren’t involved it might at least seem sincere. Pity, I would like it to be true. I’d like to go to a promised heaven, but what are people going to do there in any case – listen to more crap gospel or ridiculous pseudo-science that never got any nation anywhere, or perhaps they must eternally keep suppressing their natural desires? What was God’s plan for the natives of Canaan or his own son (who also just happens to be Himself)? Is that suffering on earth and willingness to endure more crap in the afterlife God’s plan? No, the plan of religion is to enslave people and the selfishness of the godmen will ultimately ruin the entire earth. Hey, why not, Jesus is coming back “tomorrow” and the earth is actually underpopulated, and all 9 Billion people can fit in one US state – yeah right, I’d love to see that! Oh please. So what can people, whether sincere or not (and most of the leaders know it is a con), say on sexual orientation? Well, exactly whatever they like, because guilt is a control mechanism and some poor idiot is always likely to believe it. Science may not be perfect, but at least it provides constant provable results that we can witness, while all we get from religion is a bunch of rich, ugly, sloganeering money-chasers. Jesus loves you, Jesus this and Jesus that – it’s talking a whole bunch of nothingness to the air. That is the proof for religion, except some common history and a sick mythology that came from Ur and ancient Babylon, and presents one sun-god deviation as “unique”. Indeed, if there is a God, imagine how angry He must be at people who take it upon themselves to say: “This is not God’s plan for your life”. They are playing God, and they are doing so quite selectively, as if usury or phoney Sabbaths were His plan. By implication, THEY must then be God’s embodied plan – and cult experts call that inflated, irrational thinking being a Guru. Strange how all the sham Gurus in all the religious businesses make unrealistic promises and target the same people..Science provides true wonder at the universe, and is the only system to deny that it has all the answers in one tedious, contradictory book. I mean honestly, how much of all our current technical knowledge comes from that text? Was it God’s plan not to include any of that – how to stop smallpox and invent anti-retrovirals? How sadistic of God! Plantation slaves were once told that their slavery was God’s plan for them and their children, and that too was supported with the Bible. Perhaps there is a God, and He allows evil for some vague inexplicaple reason – well then religion is possibly the biggest example of that evil, so ultimately I don’t think so. You’ll never see God, only the unpleasant people who represent Him (and never confuse a charismatic personality with goodness – all of these gurus are actually deranged), so listen to science and enjoy life – it’s the best one can do.

    Luv,

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Wow – those atheists are really something. I never thought I had that in me! I’m sure sincere faithful people have heard it all before, and that they won’t feel offended. Of course the careful reader will see my little rant is really agnostic, rather than atheistic. It is not untrue though, and a certain type of religious person does make me feel like that. Perhaps attack is the best form of defense in some situations and my hackles are raised.

    But hey, Ned Flanders was always my fantasy, so I can’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Yuck!

    Just read that some anthropologists now think that Homo Sapiens ate Neanderthal man and other hominids! On cannibalism and the Bible I recall reading (though I don’t have the verse) that Jehova curses His fickle people to starvation, and a mother will eat her own birth. Nice.

    According to structuralist anthroplogy the only reason we don’t eat each other more often is a social contract: I won’t knock you over the head and eat you, because I assume you won’t knock me over the head and eat me! But they say, as with dogs, if you starve people long enough they do almost anything for food. What is more sick, 19th century Victorians took “extract of mummy” for everything from headaches to menstrual pain. So even while they othered colonized peoples as cannibals, they consumed humans themselves. Well, they say the virus that causes Mad Cow Disease first affected humans with the Fore tribe in New Guinea, who ate their dead. Sad how in this Christian culture there is no respect for animals, and how we spread Mad cow Disease by turning vegetarian cows into cannibals. How horrible what we are doing to sentient chickens, pigs, turkeys and other livestock! Evil always has an reaction, and just as HIV is the result of deforetation and the bush-meat trade, so “Christian”, capitalist factory farming will cause humaity untold disease and pain. We know the risks already, yet it is actually an expanding industry. At least being vegetarian is now preached on TBN’s medical programs – when I first became “re-born” in 1993, vegetarianism was considered pagan, Hindu or New Age. I got a lot of hate and mocking, despite Genesis 1:29-30. Strange, the current fashion since the advent of AIDS is to moralize sexuality, but the fact that ALL these diseases come form animals, and the way we treat them and nature, is completely ignored. How many have died in the US from a meat-based diet: heart-attacks, strokes, stomach cancer…? Many more than AIDS! Now we have “swine flu”, and we all know what most of the Bible says on pork. Well, carry on you fools, hypocrites and cold-hearted retrobates: Isaiah 1: 15 – “And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; yea, when you make many prayers, I will NOT HEAR: YOUR HANDS ARE FULL OF OF BLOOD”.

    Yuck, wash it off my friends.

    Luv,

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    “And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to thee … ?” (Numbers 22: 28.)

    What have these creatures ever done to make us pay men in factory farms (concentration camps) to slit throat after throat – to throw living birds into boiling water?

    There is no love or compassion, and certainly no credibility. The coming generations will judge you harshly.

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Hi:

    Above I mean the “you” in general, for those who unquestioningly accept the current means of factory farming – it’s just a danger to humanity that Western religious people rarely think about. Of course campaigns by animal liberationists Peta have used direct holocaust imagery, which I also find somewhat questionable. I think it would be possible for some to still eat meat without the cruelty, loss of humanity, spread of new viruses (far more infectious than STDs) and serious health concerns (The Times reportrd today of a cancer risk from addtives to bacon and salami). Once again it is difficult to generalize “Christian”, since there are so many factions. From the TBN type teachings it appears however that Christians still care little for environmentalism, animal rights as connected to human rights and other pressing issues of globalization. To say the earth is fine and assume that Jesus will appear to put it all right, and that such problems are ignorable “tribulation signs” is not really an answer at all. In that case they could also ignore the gay issue or women’s rights to abortion. There seems to be a deliberate choice in line with other big industries to keep the status quo, no matter how dangerous, on certain issues (and the status quo on issues like abortion is unlikely to change in any case). More on the forum topic: I was on the Forums of http://www.contracostatimes.com where Eleanor Handcock’s “Ernst Roehm-Hitler’s chief of staff” is critiqued on the basis of “The Pink Swastika”, which repeats the causal links between homosexuality and Nazism. It receives a lot of support from a group called Christian for Truth, and even a gay liberal, and all gay porn is described as fascist, and fascism as gay. I wonder about all the heterosexual Nazi-themed porn then, and what the meaning of this is, and why Hitler died with Eva, and Mussolini with his wife and same old blah, blah. Next I landed on Jew Watch, which blames Jewish liberals for the modern gay movemnt (under: “Jewish control of Women, Family, Sex, Gender Issues and Organizations”), and accuses the Zionists of collaborating with the Nazis (from a book “Zionist Collaboration” by Lenni Brenner, ed.). Wow, so gays are both anti-semitic fascist killers, and the result of Jewish activists! And then I read that people like Michael J. Rood aim to cleanse Christianity from the “filth of Tammuz worship”, while others dipute the fact that he is even Christian or Jewish. Saddest is when things turn to violence from pretty average citizens, be it assaults on gays, or gay assaults on prayer groups in the Castro. In South Africa we had the case of the Shofar church on Stellenbosch campus, which spat on an atheist Zoologist (Prof. Peplar), and the church was later interrupted (and allegedly tear gassed) by two streaking students. Wow, the temperature is up and confusing eveywhere. So, the mainstream in Christianity is anti-gay, but pro-Zionist, and several others are anti-Semitic and anti-gay. How sad that the Nazis still have something to offer everyone who chooses to point a finger. Perhaps it’s all just so much divide and rule?

    Luv,

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Dear Friends:

    This is actually so sad. To use victimized, tortured dead people to prove some kind of contemporary social point.

    So the Nazis were led by perverts and sickos. Gee, we are so surprised! I still find nothing in all this speculation and gross fascination that proves Hitler was gay (quite the opposite), or that “gayness” leads to facism. All that is shown is that surface homophobia hides a lot of same-sex behaviour. At least here the Nazis are comparable with “reborn” Christian fundamentalism.

    Was just on Yad Vashem to see a particular person. How sad and terrible, and how horribly disrespectful this all is. So, I suppose in this wierdness, the gay victims of the Nazi death camps “deserved it”? Isn’t that what is really implied? May God forgive you all, and spare you all a similar fate.

    Luv,

    Peter Damm.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Hi Friends:

    Listening to “Believe it or not” on Capetalk Radio and watched last night on TBN: “Unidentified”. You know, I do think there is a degree of anti-Christian “hate”. I think a very naive love is sometimes mistaken as “dogma”. I think there is a double standard when comparing Christianity vs New Ageism/ Hinduism is involved. Reborn Christians bear the brunt of current cultural disatisfaction. I think also, because such people are the target of hate – perhaps similar to the Bahai people in Iran – the position on gays (as individuals) is also changing. at least the position now is that gay people never “chose” to be so, and it is much more loving. Well, in all honesty, I see Christians mocked and despised for their beliefs, and I don’t think that is right either. In Sudan and Nigeria we even have genocides against Christians. I don’t really think other faiths have much to offer atheists or conservative gender activists. Tolerance means persuation by words, and salvation comes with love. I have seen Africa and much else, but my rights are the same rights that protect Christians.

    Love,

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    May I just say – before Lively and Abrams, apart from the Nazi henchman Roehm, I new nothing about it, or how “sick” homosexuality influenced history. I knew about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Protestant resistance to Nazi evil.

    Now I still know nothing on Bonhoeffer…still nothing on Christian “goodness”.

    I get the same the feeling as when I was confronted with the Rebecca Brown’s books years ago – evil is much more interesting than good.

    Indeed, evil sells.

    Pity.

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    I assume, what Christians should believe:

    Ephesians 6:12: “For we wrestle not against FLESH and BLOOD…. ”

    Well, last time I checked: gays were quite physical, and all the other non-Christian peoples or acts were so too.

    So, what are you trying to achieve, dear Christian?

    You cannot take a sub-automatic machine-gun to a non-physical battle.

    Good luck.

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    To be truthful-ANGER. Anger all the time. Reading on Baader-Meinhof and even that generation before me was livid. Then apartheid and seeing scorn towards myself and my race, and I never chose this. Being gay has become a footnote. How do you address the anger? There were people from my generation who swollowed the quasi-religious propaganda. Some lost loves, life and limb. They went to war for “Jesus”.

    Some people “explode”, we tend to “implode”. I want to respect all faiths, but I cannot respect yours.

    Forgive me.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    A huge circle:

    Boo-hoo, stop talking about the unfairness of life. Think of the “greatest generation” before you. Well, we’re not in the US, and our former “greatest” are now criminals.

    So much depression and anxiety. Yet, so much love to give.

    If love could be bottled, I would take a pill and give you all one when God’s sun comes up. If hugs could be inhaled, I would breathe in all my brothers and sisters.

    If the human condition could ever be explained, then God could also be a wise author. So, in a huge circle, I end up with the Bible.

    If human being have ears to hear – perhaps we should try to listen – let them hear!

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Going back to Ephesians above:

    Christian friend, is your battle spiritual or political?

    I think pondering this question may re-arrange many a priority. Perhaps it also explains so much internal religious strife.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Seriously thinking of writing: “Coming Out MA/PhD: The Silence of Intelligence in the Age of Idiocity”.

    Quite a pressure, because society expects “deep” answers. I feel, sometimes people lower their standards for survival.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Thinking of HIV/Aids comparatively between US and SA. Also in literature I notice that “political” HIV-narrative is different from “persona”l HIV. Although we have a western hunch about doing so, but where do we philosophically draw the lines between spirit/body, private/public?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Christian Gender?

    Christian books have always postited discernible male and female genders. Now, considering the case of Caster, it seems this is all wrong, and there is no single definition of gender.

    Once again they are proven fraudulent, out of balance and confusing.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Two ways:

    Once a single text led to two different forms of Christianity: the current form and a Gnostic form. The latter, or “Cathar” form saw the material as evil. The modern form derives the “material” as “perfect”, and “spiritual sin” as “contaminating”.

    Deduced from Catholicism, suffering, disease and imperfection is a vistitation of God.

    To say that the material can change to fit contemporary ideas of “health” is blasphemy (according to mainstream Christianity).

    To say that a contemporary “gay person” can change for the benefit of the “spirit” is not promised in the Gospels – nothing “material” is promised in them.

    This Gnostic teaching is abhorrent. It’s better to sin and gain forgiveness than to follow this blasphemy.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    So, where is the public/private and spirit/body divide? Most Christian works certainly make sexuality a very public issue. Others say that any extra-marital sex leads to demonic infestation (ergo, most of their leadership is Satanically inspired -and the devil disguises himself as an angel of light, so everyone is suspect). To try and influence matter is Gnostic, at best. At best one deadens one sin to inflame another. Whosoever looks at a woman in lust (apart from a wife) must remove their offending hands and eyes. Oh, but that’s just metaphor, so to keep the Bible innerrent, one must invent all kinds of non-literal explanations. Oh yes, in some verses parents must be obeyed at all costs, when Jeheshua said: Matt10:34-39, Luke14:26-28. Well good luck!

    You have decided when to treat gay and lesbian people as material or spiritual problems, yet there is no clarity on this at all from the Bible. Have fun playing “God” ye blasphemers!

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    I don’t know: once they said: “Kill the Indian and save the man”. It is the same., and just as useless. Worse, counter-culture is fighting back – kill the Christian and save the planet! When I was young it was simply good to be a Christian and go to church on Sundays. Perhaps not all, but it made a difference when important Christians took a social stand. They say if black SA was not so Christianized, every white would have died in a revolution a long time ago. It used to be a good thing in line with discipline and science. What the f*ck happened?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Dear Friends:

    Apologies for deviating from the theme in my last posts. This is a complex mixture of topics including holocaust studies, my own position in SA, homosexualist vs Christianity positions and so forth. Bible interpretations are really well covered on the atheist sites, Crusade Watch and Gay Christian Movement Watch sites. So I shouldn’t have deviated so far into theology, spirit/body issues, which could be never-ending discussions on their own. What I have found is that one can find pro and anti positions on every group on the internet, and personally I cannot be convinced by anything. Doubtlessly fascism has used homoeroticism and homosexual individuals, and war is itself defined by making men willing to spend considerable amounts of time with their same-sex comrades. So while blatant gay people are a threat, there is an underlying current of male superiority – a “brotherhood” of equals. However, fascist systems also bring evil people into power, and twist ordinary people to become wicked. So the issue of negative homosexuality is a chicken and egg scenario, just as religion can be twisted to become jingoistic and chauvenstic, when arguably it is neutral (even pacifist) in itself. However, to typify Nazism as a homosexual project is for me ridiculous, especially when the reports of Nazi rapes of Scandinavian women are now such an issue. When sexuality is reduced to “breeding” a certain race it is obvious that relations between genders become pear shaped. But then there were also revenge rapes of German women, particularly in the East, where post-war Germans faced forced removals and labour camps. So nothing on these issues is simple enough to generalize any group as a “poisoned stream”. History itself it seems, is sometimes a poisoned stream that sweeps people along with the flood.

    Luv,

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Anyone who has followed the news in SA for the past few weeks will notice that the white minority is suddenly blamed for everything. Yes, we are to blame (lol) for Caster Semanye’s genitals, whatever they may be. Suddenly it’s splurged all over our newspapers – gender can sometimes not be defined by behaviour, genitalia or DNA. Now where are the Christian know-it-alls who always remind homosexuals that God made male and female, and nothing in-between? Silent. I suppose the best thing they can do for now is shut up.

    Be that as it may, please pray for us, so that we can remain in our country and help it grow. Perhaps this constant race-card thing is just a fluke, but this kind of parlance is unsettling indeed.

    Luv,

    Peter.

  • Mary

    Peter,

    I have been following Caster Semanye’s news. I do pray for you guys down there. I do pray that christians learn that God (like Caster says) made us the way he made us.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Thanks for that Mary. Of course it’s not all bad here, and there are also many good things happening, if only our politicians would stop playing the “whites are to blame for eveything” race card. People have the right to remember the past, but some of the statements are really getting a bit ridiculous. Of course there are many other sites dealing with that issue, and I only wanted to mention it as far as it affects gender and religion. Bless you for your kind words.

    Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Interesting perhaps: a family member has just returned from Australia. A while back the One Nation Party associated with Pauline Hanson blasted gay and aboriginal rights. The gay issue was given the expected “read the Bible to see what God says on homosexuality and buggary”, but the aboriginal issue is more interesting. Arguments are published that claim aboriginals were lucky to be colonized by Europeans, that “Dravidian” aboriginals have only been in Australia for 1000 years (and wiped out the native “Papuans”), that they destroyed the environment, that cannibalism was endemic, and that aboriginal rock art is faked to mislead the “white race”! Furthermore, because they had no individual land-ownership, modern land rights don’t apply to aboriginals (despite the fact that each group lived in a defined boundary). Well one could swear by some of this that everything wrong with Australia is due to the free-loading, ungrateful aboriginals! It appears theat “The Pink Swastika” is not the only text to capitalize on twisting and selecting “facts” to affect current politics. A book based on frontier statements by white colonists on native cannibalism is “The Savage Frontier” by Rodney Liddel. For a short aboriginal response see http://aboriginalrights.suite101.com/articlecfm/savagefrontier . It seems that cannibalism (hardly any society is exempt) is the main criterion for a “peaceful white settlement” in Australia. The same argument exists in New Zealand, although cannibalism and head-hunting (Victorian collectors encouraged the market for trophy heads), was never denied or regarded as a reason to disregard the Treaty of Waitangi. But what’s the point? Are there any people or a society without scandals? While I can understand that history has been swayed against well-meaning whites during post-colonialism, I just think that works which give the impression to the reader that “Wow, I never liked those people, but I never knew they were THAT BAD, or even the devil incarnate” are hardly going to lead to a fair and “civilized” resolution. Perhaps what we all in need in history is balance and context!

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Peter asked:

    Are there any people or a society without scandals?

    Exactly, none I know of…

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    True Warren. And that really repeats the statemant and wisdom of the Christian saviour (and possibly others-I don’t know), to paraphrase, “judge not lest you be judged”, “let him without sin cast the first stone”.

    However, these kind of loaded “historical” books bring in historical confusions to the effect that these “peoples” are unreal fakes as “ethnic” identities. Anti-Semites argue that the Jews of central Europe are not the Biblical tribes but members of the obscure Khazars, homophobes highlight some innate difference between masculine gays and feminine gays, racists argue that aboriginals and South African blacks were foreign settlers from the North who displaced the true “natives”, and atheists will always argue that there was never a singular concept of Christianity. Perhaps academics are on to something when they say alterity is always defined by the “other”, and hence fractured identity is kept together by opposing a more recognizable and delineated common enemy. So these texts are a process of identity construction. (Call it also perhaps, us vs. them, in-group vs. out-group.)

    So perhaps such discussions lead us to a deeper understanding of what Jeheshua may have meant – what we hate in others is really what we hate in ourselves, especially guilt, so our view of others reflects back onto our own issues of unworthiness, which we are encouraged to resolve.

    Luv, Peter.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Just re-reading the “Annotated Pink Swastika” (1997, annotated by Citizens for Civic Action, just google the titile, source online), which has also been mentioned towards the beginning of this site. This really goes a long way towards exposing the many falsities of the text. I only want to touch on where my mind has wandered, as I attempt to use the text as an example of conceptions surrounding gay masculinities in my research on HIV/Aids and idenity. The annotations and historians on this site or Wikipedia (Wikipedia-The Pink Swastika) do a much better work of responding in specific detatil than I ever could. What I find ironic is Lively’s “Introduction,” which repeats exactly my point in the above post: “I had known for a long time that it is this axiomatic that when name calling (as opposed to reasonable debate) happens, the names one calls others usually reflect the things one dislikes about oneself” (Scott Lively’s Intro, TPS 1997, p. x). Well I guess I’m glad I saw that tonight, before I plagiarize myself. Of course we can all rant and be reasonable at various times, unless we have truly become monotone and robotic due to some ideological front. Lively and Abrahms probably feel that their collection of half-truths and falsehoods are the height of “reasonable debate”. A main argument (which is also found in slanted reader critiques) is that the “homosexualist” Nazis opposed the Judeo-Christian paradigm. This issue of the Judeo-Christian paradigm is interesting, and it is also a central condition for understanding the text. I have suggested the PS and this site to several people, in the hope of getting some more responses and debate. However, most people just find it simply baffling and confusing. One can only really understand it if one comes with a belief in, or understanding of a fundamentalist leg of the contemporary conservative evangelic movement. This movemnt views Judaism and Christianity as historically harmonious world-views and connected theologies. This is certainly not the history that most people remember, which is one of Christian anti-Semitism expoused both by the early church and its propaganda of the “Jewish blood libel” and Jews as “Christ killers”, as well as protestant anti-Semitism that began with the blood-chilling statements of Martin Luther himself. Conversely, there are accusations against the Jews (and some Jewish writings indicating as much), that the Jews regarded the Christian gentiles as little more than beasts. So, to find a third enemy (the gays and homosexualists) is quite convenient for those who want to white-wash Christian/Jewish relationships as harmonious. However, most people learnt of the historical tensions and pogroms, and they would rather apologetically recognize this. Thus to come with a theory of Judeo-Christian harmony vs satanic (occult) Nazi/homosexualism is outrageous. Nazism was the culmination of secular and religious anti-Semitism, reaching back to pagan Europe (the Jews refused to worship the pagan gods) – at least this is the massive evidence of history. Therefore, to most people (that I know) the idea of Judeo-Christian is foreign. At least since Constantine, Judaism was clearly delineated from Christianity, the belief in a Trinity and eventually the paganization of the Jewish Sabbath and “Christian” holidays like Easter or Christmas. One would first have to study the recent evangelical, messianic content of people like John Hagee to understand that some Jews and Christians consider each other useful allies, and for Christians this entails a rather patronizing view of the Jewish state as ushering in their end-time prophesies. It certainly does not represent the pre-War preaching against Jews in the US, or significant factions of “Christians” like Des Griffin, who continue to insist that the Jews are out to undermine and mock Christian civilization. Strangely, both in SA and the US Jews were over-represented in anti-fascist left-wing libration movements for equality (especially gay Jews in SA), and both this proud history and the lack of any specific anti-Semitism from the gay movement makes the PS hard to swallow. Embarrasingly for Lively and Abrahms, anti-Semitic theories continue to flow from homophobic WASP Christian factions.So the actual audience for the PS is quite limited. Who knows, perhaps the Judeo-Christians also think Luther was a closet gay? For myself, Richard Dawkins effectively argues against the notion that Hitler was anything but mainstream Christian in background and effect, and that he certainly wasn’t an atheist or practicing occultist. Also, when most people think of Nazis, homosexual stereotypes simply do not come to mind. As far as the authors make a connection between film stereotypes and Nazis in their final chapter, this does not seem to have been pervasive enough to spread from the view of Nazis as suffering from “maniac machismo”. The constant trope of “gay” pornography and Nazism is undermind by the plethora of Nazisploitation film, that was marketed from the late 1960s to a distincly hetero market. Wikipedia writes on Nazi Exploitation “porn”: “The tortures inflicted are often of a sexual nature; and the prisoners, who are often female, are nude. ..The quintessential film of the genre which lanched its popularity and its typical tropes was ‘Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS’ (1974), about the buxom, nymphomaniacal dominatrix Ilsa torturing prisoners in a stalag.” (see Exploitation film-Wikipedia). If anything, gay fetishes, just like gay gender expressions follow, rather than create heterosexual norms. Lastly I was just listening to a collection of gay and lesbian music from the German period 1908-1933 (“Die Scwule Plattenkiste: Vom Hirschfeldlied zum Lila Lied”, Berliner Musenkinder, available via Bear Family Records). The songs here alone challenge many of TPS assumptions. It includes “chanson” songs from the gay scene before the Nazi oppression in 1933, including songs by queer artists about the gay Weimar lifestyle and instances where “schwul” (gay, queer) is mentioned. In the devastatingly satirical song by Friedrich Hollaender, “An Allem sind die Juden schuld”, Annemarie Hase sends up anti-Semites (1931) who blamed the Jews for the most trivial things, even if the sausage tastes like soap, and the Prince of Wales is queer – it WAS the fault of the Jews, somehow. Interesting verse about the Prince of Wales being gay (which he wasn’t), but it would have been the fault of the Jews. So there was a concept then (as with anti-Semites now) that the Jews are to blame for homosexuality! The “Hirschfeldslied” sends up the spread of Freudian theory and its sexualization of ALL ordinary human interaction (in a fun way, without references to Hirschfeld and Freud being Jews – a fact conveniantly ignored in TPS, but not by the neo-Nazis). The booklet to the CD by Raoul Konezni points out that both Hirschfeld or gay scandals from the period of Kaizerzeit-monarchy failed to popularize the gay cause at large in Weimar Germany. Hence, it was still popularly claimed in the journalist PEM’s (no other details) “Heimweh nach Kufuerstendamm” (Home-sickness for Kufuerstendamm) that mutineering sailors brought homosexuality to Germany during World War I. Wow, now that’s not in TPS! Anyway, if gays are against the Judeo-christian movement, what exactly is it, if not some post-modern oxymoron? Where did most religions come from, if not occultism? Where is the evidence that all Christians were persecuted en masse by the Nazis, or other fascists? As far as I note, various Jews and Christians have tolerated each other for periods (and fortunately largely do so now). As Abrahms argues, perhaps Jewish homosexualists must be so without specific backing from scripture, but what backing does Christianity have from Judaism to speak of a “Judeo-Christian” civilization? According to Wikipedia secular and converted Jews remain Jewish, so gay Jews remain Jews. Similarly, nothing in Christianity casts out gay Christians, or any other “sinner”. So what does this mean: gays are anti-Judeo-Christian? There is a great yearning from large segments of the gay communities to be recognized by their respective traditions. Most occultism is quite heterosexist (even original Wicca), and I am yet to read of one prominant “Satanist” who is gay and views him/herself as anti-religion per se. Therefore, to people who don’t already hate homosexuality, the text is just wierd and insane.

    Luv,

    Peter

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    I have developed quite a taste for this literature, even if not always an understanding. I’m trying to fuse it under a genre title, but finding it hard. Much of it is different from past “conspiracy theory” in that grand conspiracies are diffused, reworked and re-connected. Also, not all info is necessarily untrue (just de-contexctualized). But mainly, the people are in-groups within states, rather than any nationalistic conspiracy. The groups largely fall within a left-wing/right-wing dichotomy, with conspiracy used to typify the “other” side. I like to call it “Hardening the narrative”. I like that phrase, because the “hardening” implies an active process of using a simple dislike to create an elaborate exposition of physical and cosmic evil. The authors usually represent their own group as victimized. Well, I’ve just read “Slavery, Terrorism and Islam” by Peter Hammond (see http://www.frontline.org.za), and the strange thing is, I cannot totally dismiss it, although I also see problems with it (such as whitewashing Christian crimes against Muslims and representing Christian churches as historically unified fronts against Islam – thus glossing over Christian-on-Christian wars, such as the 30-year and 100-year wars). Well, I think thoughts which were once considered extreme in the 1980s are “hardening” in the genral populations. And what is this narrative but a framed historicism within an autiobiographical present? The authorial intro, bio, pics experiences instigate what is to follow. And autobiographical narrative is always created by significant events (nobody includes everything). These events are culturally chosen eg. in native culture names may reflect events concerning animals and nature. So when Hammond writes on Islam, or similar texts like TPS (The Pink Swastika) about homosexuals there is a degree of self-definition (justification) of the self going on too.

    Perhaps a perk of internet overflow is that we can tailor-make our own prejudiced narrative these days. We can pick and choose from the vast array of the conspiracy buffet.

    What is quite hypocritical and annoying is when Muslims and Christians use each other’s texts to condem homosexuality, but yet in the next book they condem each other!

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    Just thinking of the assertion in TPS (The Pink swastika) that homosexualists and gays want to destroy Judeo-christian civilization. I believe that Da Vinvi and Michelangelo were gay gay men of their time (well they certainly weren’t conventional heterosexualists). Despite the babble on “secret societies”, which should still rule modern religions for those who subscribe to the conspiracy theories, I LOOK AT THE SISTINE CHAPEL AND THINK – IS THIS HOW GAYS DESTROY CIVILIZATION – WITH LASTING BEAUTY? What a load of you know what.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Peter

    On hardening the narrative: Escapism for the middle-classes.

    I keep questioning, what is so different between such “hardening” texts and conventional “conspiracy theory”? I think the latter goes into the superlative, sometimes to the point of science fiction. The former responds to liberal discourse as it understands it. Texts like TPS actually purport to equal the playing fields in a liberal context. However, the reader must first realize that they have been unequally tipped, and here such texts fail to be convincing. I don’t think too many people are convinced that gays or aborigines have enjoyed too many rights in the past 100 years, rather than too few, or unequal rights!

    I’m talking wider context here, and outside the specific texts. What they do attempt to say is that if one can link groups of people with certain judicial interests to e.g. Nazis or cannibalism, or STD viruses, then their other arguments for civil rights should be reconsidered to protect “society” at large. What is then also implied is that victimization is concocted by these groups, who are themselves perpetrators. However, that is an unsound (yet powerfully emotive) argument. Surely historical treaties and constitutions forbid collective punishments, and at least in the US “all men are created equal”. So perhaps “hardening” the narrative type texts show a degree of anti-government sentiment where current cultural constructs are reinforced through populism to the point where “out-groups” become visible symbols of disatisfation with constitutional and juristic processes. Unlike blatant hate-speech, they are usually softened by the odd sentence that highlight appeals against extremism (it’s the other side that is, after, all painted as “extreme”). Perhaps the “hardening” is escapism for the (white) middle classes. I do think that faction of global society needs a bit of an ego-boost, but going the path of how bad the world is, and how bad other groups are, is the ultimate hallmark of cult-speak.

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  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2009/06/09/a-historians-analysis-of-the-pink-swastika-part-2/ Peter

    Hi everybody:

    Just wanted to add, I saw a documentary last night on the peat-bog mummies, and how the Nazis tried to use mummies as a part of their “archeological evidence” that the Aryans once founded civilization 10, 000 years ago.

    Himmler referred to the Dutch mummies as homosexuals who had been drowned for their “disordered state”.

    Of course this is but one interpretation of what most experts call sacrificial customs, and therefore it’s not archeology, but ideology.

    In any case, it seriously challenges the notion that homosexuality was never or hardly mentioned by the Nazis.

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  • Pingback: A historian’s analysis of The Pink Swastika, part 1 — Warren Throckmorton

  • RickW

    I just ran into the most recent revision of “The Pink Swastika.” What is different about it is that they address some of the criticisms (I don’t know how many since I just skimmed the site) leveled at them and actually have scanned in some of their sources next to the text. Comparing this new edition with the “Annotated Pink Swastika” would be a long slog requiring reams and reams a paper to print them out and make side-by-side comparisons. What I do seem to recall about an earlier print edition of “The Pink Swastika” is that Scott Lively and his coauthor said that effeminate homosexuals were killed by the Nazis and that their directives were aimed at them while the masculine gay men were ignored or accepted. So if my memory is correct on this then the claim that Lively et al asserted that no homosexuals were killed as part of the Nazi regime is a straw man fallacy. Whether or not the claim is true or not is another story, it’s just that the authors claimed one type of homosexual was hated and another type wasn’t (again, if my memory serves me correctly since it was a long time since I read it).

    ++++++ In reading the quotes from Stein I don’t think she is being fair in her own comparisons of some things to Nazi propaganda. For example, here: “During these initiative campaigns, the Christian right at times deployed rhetoric and imagery that echoed European anti-Semitism. The Oregon Citizens Alliance film, The Gay Agenda, closely resembled the 1940 Nazi propaganda film The Eternal Jew. Echoing traditional anti-Semitic propaganda which deliberately inflated the power of Jewish bankers, international Jewish conspiracies, and so forth, conservatives suggested that lesbians and gay men have higher incomes than others.”

    ++++ What Stein claims that Lively and Abrams did she did herself by claiming that the Christian activists used “rhetoric and imagery that echoed European anti-Semitism.” These close resemblances are not close except in her mind. She herself takes a partisan viewpoint in referring to the “Christian Right” as if that is the only group represented. As we saw recently in California’s Proposition 8, there was a coalition of Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, Roman Catholics, Mormons, and a large representation of African Americans. It is very probable that other groups took part as well, such as Muslims and Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Copts, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. Many of those who voted for Prop. 8 also voted for Barack Obama for President. I’d say that it’s probably the case that the political battle in Oregon that Stein discusses had a similar makeup.

    +++++ Moreover, I did not see an analytical breakdown of the Lively and Abrams book from Stein, so it comes off as more of an example of polemics than persuasive refutation. For someone who doesn’t have the time to research and verify the claims made by Lively and Abrams it is a disappointment. It certainly isn’t “a historian’s analysis because THERE WAS NO ANALYSIS! Maybe a little here an there, but it’s a pretty partisan review and the appeal to authority only goes so far. It’s sort of like one group of Jefferson historians insisting that Locke was the biggest influence on his draft of the Declaration whereas I think it likely that a larger influence came from Henry St. John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke. In this case I made a little time to do my own research, which is made easier by the fact that the source materials are in English. To do primary research on “The Pink Swastika” would take knowledge of German, which I don’t have. I don’t have a dog in this fight, I just want to know the truth. Thanks.


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